Chiang Mai with its 148 000 inhabitants, is the largest and most culturally important city in northern Thailand and is also due to the scenic beauty of the North Rose called. Chiang Mai is also the capital of Chiang Mai province and the capital of the district ( Amphoe ) Mueang Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is located in a sheltered valley of Maenam (River) Ping , at the foot of the mountain Doi Pui (1685 m above sea level). The provincial capital is the economic and cultural center of the north. The former tranquility has given way to western hectic, a lot of old teak houses are of concrete buildings replaced. This is the enormous contrast to the traditional way out of town relatives settled the mountain peoples (among other Akha , Meo , Lisu , Karen ) to clear.
Chiang Mai has a total of some 200 Buddhist temples ( Wat ) , many of which are located in the old town. This is (remains of which are still preserved) by a quadrangle of the ancient city walls and an enclosed running parallel to the moat, which can be crossed on numerous bridges. The center of the modern city lies on the other hand towards the east outside the ancient city walls on the banks of Maenam Ping.